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Highway 61 1:18 1964 Buick Riviera Hardtop

Reviewed by:   Patty Henderson
  Highway 61 1:18 1964 Buick Riviera Hardtop diecast car

In 1963, Buick, long known for its luxurious line of large, upscale automobiles, introduced its first Sports Model in coupe form, the Riviera. The name conjured images of exotic locales, beaches and suntans,the beautiful and the rich. It was an immediate hit. The Riviera didn't skimp on what were standard Buick luxury accommodations, with full carpeting, center console, heater and defroster, electric clock, padded instrument panel, and a host of features Buick's affluent customers were accustomed to. Under the hood, Buick packed the Riviera with their workhorse 325 hp, 401 ci "Nailhead" V8, but also offered the option for the big horse 340 hp, 425 ci V8. The Buick "Super Turbine 400" automatic transmission made it a smooth ride.

Certainly not a Muscle Car in 1963, the Riviera, however, proved so successful that Buick made little change in the cosmetics and overall appearance of the Riviera in 1964, adding merely a chrome circle hood ornament and new Riviera scripts on the front fenders and right side of the trunk. It was under the hood where the new surprise waited. In 1964, Buick rolled out the big guns, Dual Quad carbs, to be precise. The fiery 425 V8 could now be hopped-up with a second set of four barrel carbs, boosting the raw power an extra 20 bhp, making the "Wildcat" 340 hp into a roaring 360 hp lion! This wasn't your daddy's Buick anymore. The Riviera became a bona fide Muscle Car and is the premier standard bearer for Buick among the Muscle Car collectors. Of course, it didn't hurt that the Riviera was sexy. While it hammered you on the streets, it flirted with you with its classy good looks. The Riviera was a complete package: style, grace and substance. It was pure American iron with a hint of European style. It was heavy. It was the dream cruiser.

Tom Haverland at Highway 61 has captured every sensuous curve and chrome highlight of the 1964 Riviera and dropped in two engine choices for the 3 colors available for this model. Both the Black and the Silver Rivieras have the Dual Quad 425 V8, 360 hp engine, while the Coral Mist model has the standard 340 hp powerhouse. Highway 61 went full throttle on this one. They didn't pull any punches. The first thing you notice when you pull it out of the new plastic packaging, is the weight. For the price point, this is one heavy piece of diecast. I want to applaud Hwy61 for re-designing their boxes, eliminating those screw mounts from hell. In this reviewer's humble opinion, no diecast manufacturer should be using mounting screws in this day and age. Bravo to Hwy 61. The Coral Mist Poly paint on my image was so glossy and smooth; I could literally use it as a mirror. Like Coral ice! For those who are hesitant about this color, let me reassure you that it is an exceptional and stunning hue. It must be seen in person to be appreciated. Hwy 61 uses chrome foil for their trim, and while there were some spotty places in the foil, it compliments the model very nicely and shouldn't keep you away from this beauty. By using the foil, Hwy 61 avoids the sometimes clunky look of thicker plastic chrome. It's especially effective for the slim spears along the side of the Riviera body side panels. The Riviera sparkles on the shelf. They got the stance right and the tampo scripts are realistic and bold enough against the Coral Mist color to engage your eye. Every attention was given to detail, right down to the delicate photo-etched Riviera hood ornament. Pop back the license tag and take a look at the gas cap. This is pure eye candy.

But it's far more than that inside. The interior is black, but this baby is full of the most amazing imitation wood grain I've seen in a mid-price range image. I still marvel at how Highway 61 can maintain this level of excellence, yet keep the price so affordable for the collector on a budget who wants high end detail. Open the doors and the accoutrements include; full plush carpeting, chrome galore, an opening glove box (although you'll need the now industry standard opening tool provided), seats that beckon you to come take a ride, moveable sun visors, and a fully finished roof liner.

Pop open the hood on realistic hinges and you'll see the Big Buick 425 V8, 340 hp powerhouse packed in there with all the bells and whistles. They didn't stop their attention to detail here either. You'll be very tempted to fire up this baby and hit the streets with it, but remember, this stunning luxury land liner was also king of cruising. In the trunk, you'll find black carpeting, decals on the inside trunk lid and a realistic jack and spare tire.

The boulevards await, and with the alternatives of Black, Silver, and Coral Mist, Highway 61 has provided you with the ride of your choice to go cruising in your living room. With the cost of these images, and the various engines available, just imagine going into your nearest Buick Dealership in 1964 and ordering one in each color. These will add some class and sparkle to your diecast display. The heck with California dreaming. I'm going Riviera dreaming.

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Highway 61 | 1:18
Highway 61 1:18 1964 Buick Riviera Hardtop

Highway 61 1:18 1964 Buick Riviera Hardtop

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